5D Mark II mode dial lock, or lack thereof

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by larry_luckham, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. I'm a fire department photographer. About 18 months ago, or shortly after the 5D Mark II came on the market I bought one to use as my primary work camera. I'm very satisfied with the camera in every respect but one. The mode dial lacks any sort of lock. For most photographers this might not be a problem as simple care to check settings would be sufficient. Unfortunately in my line of work that's not a particularly practical answer.
    Fire calls come 24 X 7 X 365 and response must be immediate. The first step is donning layers of protective gear, radios, helmet, etc. and actually getting to the fire. Then there's the action on the fireground, keeping safe when things get hot and active. It's sometimes dark, usually smoky, and very, very busy. A camera properly set at the onset, but without any locking of the mode dial can easily rub on protective clothing, a radio cable, another camera strap, seeminglu anything, and lo and behold become set to Tv when it was originally set to P, or some other thing. Yes, one is supposed to catch the change in the viewfinder. But, again, a helmet or air maks often makes the ability to see much more than the basic framing of a shot all but impossible.
    So, I'm looking for a solution. Something other than just putting gaffers tape over the mode dial. Canon says they have no solution. Has anyone else faced this problem? Are there any repair techs that have modified the camera to solve this? I'm considering trying to fabricate a small aluminum cap that might be screwed into the side of the camera above the left strap bracket and which would extend up and over the dial itself. Has anyone tried this?
    If I can't find a solution I need to make a camera change as this has already been costly in terms of lost work.
  2. Larry, I suspect there is a way to lock it, such that it wont be possible to change the mode by removing the mode dial from the camera once you've set it. However it will likely be rather involved.. probably removing some of the camera body, and looking at other Canon mode dial construction, there is likely a screw that holds the mode dial in, accessed from the bottom.
    Once this is all done you likely will not be able to change the mode dial again easily without reassembly.. and you may lose protection of the internal circuitry once it is removed.
    This is just a first thought however... I have a 5Dmkii personally and I'll look at some options for locking the mode dial for you.
    Let me know if you think of anything, I'm glad to try and help the fire department, even if it's not my fire dept, or in my country.
  3. That's probably my only gripe with my 5DII. Wish there was a stronger detent, or better yet a pull-up-to-turn mechanism like on some
    other cams. I only shoot in aperture priority (unless using flash) and far too many times I've exposed in some other mode
    simply because the dial was accidentally bumped to another mode.
  4. you could sell and get a 1Ds ii or 1D III. No video, but they're more resistant to the elements, which is probably be a good thing in your line of work. They don't have a mode dial, you have to push and hold a button while turning the dial by the shutter to change modes. It definitely won't get changed by accident, but it may be a pain to do on purpose if you have gloves on.
  5. I have heard of people taping the dial in place so it can't move. I'm on my 3rd Canon, accidently changing the mode dial and not noticing it has been a problem with all of them, yet my 13 year old Minolta had a simple locking tab that worked well. I generally find mine changes from Av to M, so each day I go out I set M to suit the exposure conditions I expect to meet. It has saved several important shots for me.
  6. Gaffer tape sounds good to me. In fact, I cover my whole camera with removable gaffer tape to keep out the elements when I shoot in deserts, etc.
    A number of earlier EOS film cameras had pushbutton locks on their dials, but they tended to be a weak point of the mechanism and break. Perhaps this experience dissuaded Canon from implementing dial locks on later models.
  7. How about a cheap off-camera flash bracket? It should be easy to extend the horizontal shoe support piece to the right enough to cover the dial. No tape, and no possibly irreversible camera mods, either.
  8. You can use the C1 to C3 on the dial, put on C3 so it's locked one way at least, and put the same program on C1 and C2.
  9. The new EOS 7DSV has lockable settings. It's designed for "studio" use - and I'm assuming that means places like Sears portrait studios - where it's not desirable that a relatively untrained camera operator can change settings.
  10. Larry, how do you carry the camera? Do you use the neck strap? Grip?
    Get back to me please!
  11. How about a cheap off-camera flash bracket? It should be easy to extend the horizontal shoe support piece to the right enough to cover the dial. No tape, and no possibly irreversible camera mods, either.
    Not a bad idea which geve me the following idea. You could get a piece of aluminum say 1/16" thick and say about 8" long. One end would be attached to the cameras tripod socet with a screw. The other end would be bent to go up the side and then bent again to go over the dial. Protecting it from accidental contact. Depending on how you bend the metal you could also end up having a second hand hold. You could also change the shap of ht emetal and how it is bent to cover some of the controls on the back of the camera in case they get accidentally changed.
  12. A camera glove.
  13. i had canon add the lockinh dial to my 5dmk2 when it was in for a service last year..
    it cost me 100 bucks
    i could not be happier...
    i love the locking mechasim. the dial is not cheap plastic like the one on the 60d, it is its own part made of all alumimun and a knurled rubber finger surround.
    the person here is commenting that the dial lacks the c1, c2, and c3 label.. but in reality, they are just covered up by the grey arrow graphic.
    the dial is the same look as the factory one

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